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Moderna Starts COVID Vaccine Trials in Children

May 13, 2021 • Our Blog • General Health
Moderna recently announced that it has begun COVID vaccine trials in children — but what do those trials look like, and when can we expect results? With COVID vaccinations rapidly on the rise among adults in the United States, it’s natural for parents to wonder when their children will finally be able to get inoculated too. With Moderna’s recent announcement that they have begun vaccine trials for children, that opportunity will likely be coming sooner than later.  The reason why vaccines haven’t been approved for kids yet is that children’s immune systems can react to vaccines differently than adult immune systems do. That means they require their own, longer studies, which demand a lot of child volunteers. The good news is that research shows that children don’t get COVID as frequently as their older counterparts. That means that as more of the general population gets vaccinated, kids will likely be able to gain more freedom even if they are still waiting on their own vaccinations.

Understanding Moderna’s COVID Vaccine Trials in Children

Moderna currently has two trials going for children under the current approved vaccination age of 18. One trial is looking at kids aged 12-17 — a group that gets COVID at similar rates to adults. This trial, which involves 3,000 children, will possibly even have results by this summer The second trial looks at children aged 6 months to under 12 years old. Moderna plans to enroll 6,750 healthy participants from the US and Canada for the study, which will be conducted in two parts. The children in both parts of the study will receive two shots 28 days apart.  In the first part, the first children to be inoculated will receive the lowest doses. They will then be monitored for reactions before later participants are given higher doses. Once all the dose levels have been used, the researchers will perform interim analysis to determine which dose is safest and most likely to be effective for the age group.  In the second part of the study, children will either receive the doses selected in the first part of the study or placebo shots of salt water. The children in this part of the study will be followed for a year to measure their antibody levels to determine whether the vaccine is providing protection from the coronavirus effectively.  The participants’ side effects will also be closely monitored given that common vaccine side effects like sore arms, fever, fatigue, and achy muscles and joints can be more intense in kids than adults. Once the vaccine is publicly available, it will be important for parents to know what side effects to expect after their children are inoculated.

Keeping Your Kids Healthy

Even with Moderna and other vaccine companies like Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer-BioNTech starting to move toward vaccine trials involving children, it’s still likely going to be a while before your kids can get a COVID vaccination. In the meantime the best way to keep your kids healthy is by talking to Kids’ Health, a leading pediatric clinic serving the Beverly, Massachusetts area.  Call us or reach out online to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment today! Please be sure to call the office before bringing in a child who may have COVID....